In his “Suicide Preface,” Manley wrote that he has prepaid Yahoo to host both his sites — “Martin Manley: My Life and Death” and “Sports In Review” — for the next five years, the longest amount of time for which he was allowed to pay in advance. He added, “Whether it gets extended beyond that is up to others.”
After his death, Yahoo took down the sites, citing a clause in the terms of service where the user agrees not to:
a. upload, post, email, transmit, or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable;…
Leaving aside the controversial topic of suicide, a Slashdot commenter notes that:
The Yahoo terms of service clearly state that their hosting contracts are non-transferable and end upon death. With the contract ends Yahoo’s obligation to keep publishing the content.
It’s worth checking your hosting contract if you’ve written anything online that you would like to remain available after your death. Ideally, Web pages would remain available forever, as part of the historical record, but this does not seem to be simple, even if you’re willing to pre-pay.
Update (2013-08-28): Kirk McElhearn:
Apple’s iCloud Terms and Conditions do state that:
“You agree that your Account is non-transferable and that any rights to your Apple ID or Content within your Account terminate upon your death.”
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